Beloved Children of God

The following reflection for the fourth Sunday of Easter was written by FAN Board Member, Sr. Maryann Mueller

This was originally posted in our April 20th newsletter

 

One theme throughout our readings this Sunday is that we are all beloved by the Father and “that we may be called the children of God.” (1 Jn. 3:1) In the Gospel, the image of Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd reminds us that all are included in the “one flock.” (John 10: 16) St. John reminds us that the Good Shepherd is also the victim “who laid down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:15) Jesus recognizes himself in all victims, and lived His public life trying to bring justice and dignity to the victims in the society of the day. As followers of Jesus, we are called to also strive to bring justice and dignity to the most vulnerable in our society. These include the more than twenty-seven million children, women and men trapped in labor trafficking linked to our global economy.

 

These children, women and men are enslaved in plain sight all around us. They may include those who prepare meals, serve you, or wash dishes as you eat in your favorite restaurant. They may be those who clean your hotel room or work under inhumane and unsafe conditions in factories to provide the shoes and the clothes that you wear. They may be the children or adults who pick the vegetables and fruit you enjoy. They may be those who come to your door selling magazines, or those who work in your health club or beauty salon.

 

Labor traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to force people to work against their will. One common thread that unites all victims is that they come from poverty and continue to live in poverty. Another common thread, far more important, is that they are all “children of God” (1 John 3:1-2.)

 

Labor traffickers could be compared to the hired man in the Gospel – “he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.” (John 10:10) The victim is just a cheap and disposable means to profit. There are reports that in the commercial fishing industry many trafficked children are actually thrown overboard if they become too ill to work.

 

Just as the Good Shepherd seeks out the most vulnerable sheep, we are called to seek out the victims in our society and to do all we can to empower them. We are also responsible for being aware of how our consumerism is affecting the economically poor and powerless in the world and in our community. As consumers, we are complicit in benefiting from the trafficking of children, women and men. To find out more on how many slaves work for you to maintain your lifestyle please go to Slavery Footprint.

 

In 2012, California enacted the Supply Chain Transparency Act which states that large businesses in the state must disclose the working conditions for all people who supply the products for the company. National legislation which would require companies to be transparent with information about supply chains and how they are addressing labor trafficking within their business operations would serve to bring this hidden slavery to light. For more information on human trafficking, please go to the FAN website.

 

Sr. Maryann Mueller
FAN Board Member

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Published in: on April 21, 2015 at 9:12 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Thank you for this thorough and well researched reflection, Sr. Maryann.


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